Earlier this summer, the Google Chrome team produced a video where they went around asking regular citizens what a browser was. Turns out that about eight percent of the people know the answer, while the rest have no idea.
Cue mockery, laughter, sadness, feigned outrage, and even the occasional reasonable response.
I’ve never liked Jay Leno-style man-on-the-street video interviews; it’s easy to make regular people with no TV experience look bad. But one thing is clear: this video has legs, and the “8 percent” figure will probably be cited in blogs and articles and conferences for years to come. If this ends up driving home the point that hectoring ordinary people to “get a better browser” is a waste of time, then it’s hard to argue with the overall merit of the project. Remember kids: users do not change their defaults. That’s why it’s all about the Benjamins distribution deals.
Here is the video I would like to see. The scene: a succession of sleek Silicon Valley or NYC webdev offices filled (in no particular order) with beanbags, contemporary art, and twentysomethings with messenger bags. The questions:
- Why do we have seasons?
- Why is the sky blue?
Okay, I’ll admit that I’m cheating a little on Question #1, since I’ve already seen the famous 90s era video of new Harvard graduates flubbing that question. Unfortunately I can’t find that clip on YouTube or any other major video sites. Chalk this one up to the Vast Harvard Conspiracy (Truth Suppression Division).
As for Question #2, I only have my instinct to go on, but I suspect the results would be equally dismal. Note that we’re looking for layman-friendly answers here. References to Rayleigh scattering are admired but not required.